From the HBD Archive
From: Darryl Richman <>
Subject: Re: Homebrew Digest #185 (June 24, 1989)
Date: 1989-06-25 13:19:16 GMT

From: "Lance "Bits B We" Smith" <>
"I'm am told by my mashing friends that wheat beers are somewhat difficult
"to make because of the behavior of the wheat compared to malted barley.
"(feel free to expand on this or contradict it as you see fit.)

Funny you should mention this. My partners and I just made a 15 gallon
batch of weizen yeasterday (along with a 15 gallon batch of bitter--11.5
hours from setup to party, and returning almost 33 sg lb. of grain/gallon
water in the later, 31.5 in the former).

Our beer was 50% malted wheat, 30% Munich, and 20% 2 row. The hot break
in the boil was the most unbelievable thing I've seen. It looked like
egg drop soup. We took out a sight glass and grabbed a bit and the flocs
were huge. As much as 1/2" in diameter.

We didn't have any trouble with the sparge--the traditional difficulty
with wheat is that, without any appreciable husks and lots more protein
and vegetable gums, it mucks up the runoff. We took our time, however:
20 minutes to settle in the lauter tun, at least 30 minutes of recycling,
and 1.5 hours to sparge. We cut it off when the adjusted gravity was
still 1.015, even though we were still getting color, because we weren't
getting any more sweetness, just grainy notes.

We avoided picking up much of the break and trub out of the boiler by
whirlpooling the wort at the end of the boil. We used my immersion
cooler to bring the temperature down under 70F. Although it was cool
enough to pitch 40 minutes, we went more than an hour to help compact
the trub/hop pellet pyramid that the whirlpool had left in the center
of the kettle.

The ingredients for 15 gallons:
14 lbs. wheat
8 munich
6 2 row

90 grams Hersbrucker hops (3.4% alpha)
for bittering

Medium soft water with an addition of
10 grams Calcium Carbonate

Sierra Nevada culture yeast

Mash with 1.25 quarts water per pound of grain
with rests at 120F-1.5 hours, 135-45 minutes, 148-30 minutes,
156-until converted, 172-15 minutes.

OG 1.055. Ask me again in a few weeks for the FG.

"William's also sells a liquid yeast pouch (made by Wyeast?) which they say
"is made up of two strains of yeast to give the beer the authentic southern
"Germany taste. (Whatever that means.) Dave Miller lists another German
"lab culture which he recommends for Weizen beer. I'd need to check on that.

I was going to try one of the Wyeast pouches but I forgot to get one when
I went to the local shop. I've had good results with 1007, their German
Ale yeast, in making an Alt. Not a lot of fruity esters, even when
fermented at 70F.

--Darryl Richman

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